The government plans to initiate a round of reforms in the environmental assessment sector, Beijing-based People's Daily reported Wednesday.
Under the new mechanism, the environmental agencies will be held responsible for irregularities in environmental assessment, according to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).
Different companies will be encouraged to set up environmental agencies and compete on the market. Meanwhile, these agencies are encouraged to become larger and more capable.
Environmental assessment agencies will be urged to accept social responsibilities and behave ethically and professionally.
All major development projects will have to pass environmental assessments to prevent environmental degradation and ecological damage.
Early this year, the management of the Yuanmingyuan Park, an imperial garden in Beijing which was burned by invading foreign troops in 1860, came under fire when it started to drudge the lake to lay a plastic membrane on the lake bed.
(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2005)